New York State Department of Civil Service Announces Examinations Open to All Qualified Individuals

Direct Support Assistant Trainee

Applications Accepted
Tests To Be Held


Exams Included on This Announcement
Exam Number Exam Title Open to Employees of Salary Salary Grade Non−Refundable Processing Fee
10-018 Direct Support Assistant Trainee OPWDD People W Dev Disab, Office for $29,278 Equated to G-7 $0
10-019 Direct Support Assistant Trainee (Spanish Language) OPWDD People W Dev Disab, Office for $29,278 Equated to G-7


(Formally known as Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities)

Appointees in the New York City area (Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond [Staten Island], Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties) will receive an additional $3,026 annual downstate adjustment. Appointees who work in Dutchess, Orange, or Putnam Counties will receive an additional $1,513 annual mid Hudson adjustment.

* As a Direct Support Assistant Trainee, you would participate in a traineeship ranging from 6 months to 15 months depending on your qualifications and your ability to demonstrate competency in certain critical areas of consumer care. You will be required to successfully complete and be certified in Medication Administration and Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention (SCIP). At the successful conclusion of your traineeship, you would advance without further examination to Grade 9 (Beginning Salary $32,653).

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Minimum Qualifications

On or before the date of filing your application, you must be a qualified employee of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and have had one year of permanent competitive, non-competitive, labor, or 55-b/55-c service in a position allocated to Grade 3 or higher; AND you must have graduated from high school or have earned a high school equivalency diploma (such as a GED) or higher. You must include the name and location of the high school or governmental authority that granted the diploma in the "Education" section of your application. Your high school diploma or equivalency diploma must have been awarded by a high school or educational institution recognized by the New York State Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. There will be a written test administered in English only, which you must pass. If you pass the written test, you must meet the QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT.

Qualifications for Appointment

  1. License Requirements: You must possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State at the time of appointment and continuously thereafter.
  2. Your physical and medical condition and agility will be evaluated to ensure that you are able to satisfactorily perform the duties of this position with or without reasonable accommodation. To obtain a complete statement of the physical, medical, and agility standards go to: Please note that the medical exam includes psychological and drug screening.
  3. You will be required to be cleared through the New York State Child Abuse Registry and the Medicaid Fraud Prevention and Detection Database.


  1. An appointee not meeting required standards can be terminated at any time after the initial four (4) weeks and before completion of the traineeship.
  2. Your high school diploma or equivalency diploma must have been awarded by a high school or educational institution or one recognized by the NYS Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. If your high school diploma was awarded by an educational institution outside the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to the Examination Information Desk of the NYS Department of Civil Service for a list of acceptable companies who provide this service. You must pay the required evaluation fee.
  3. This examination uses the same test as the Mental Health Therapy Aide Trainee and Developmental Disabilities Secure Care Treatment Aide Trainee examination. A candidate cannot be tested more than once during the same test form period. Each test form period runs from September 1st through August 15th. If you take the test more than once during the same test form period, you will not receive a score for the second test.
  4. If you took examination No. 20-485 Developmental Aide Trainee, or No. 20-486 Developmental Aide Trainee (Spanish Language) after September 1, 2010, you cannot take this test before September 1, 2011. If you wish to have your name on the eligible list for Direct Support Assistant Trainee, you should apply for Direct Support Assistant Trainee at the agency where you took the test for Developmental Aide Trainee. Your responses from the Developmental Aide Trainee exam will be used to re score you for Direct Support Assistant Trainee.
  5. If you are successful on this examination, your name will be placed on both the transition and open-competitive lists used by your DDSO facility. You may request that your score be transferred to Direct Support Assistant Trainee and Developmental Disabilities Secure Care Treatment Aide Trainee transition and/or open-competitive lists at other OPWDD facilities. You may also have your score transferred to the open-competitive list for Mental Health Therapy Aide Trainee for positions at Office of Mental Health (OMH) settings. Instructions on how to have your score transferred will be included on your written test score notice.
  6. Eligible lists may be used to fill other language parenthetic positions, other than Spanish language, that currently exist or are established during the life of the list. If you are considered for appointment to a language parenthetic position, you will be required to demonstrate proficiency in that language. Proficiency must be at a level which will permit you to perform the duties of the position satisfactorily.
  7. All OPWDD employees must be eligible and maintain eligibility for full and unconditional participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Continued employment will depend on maintaining eligibility.

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Subject of Examination

There will be a written test which you must pass in order to be considered for appointment. The written test is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

  1. Dealing with daily situations in an OMH/OPWDD setting - These questions test for the ability to apply common sense in dealing with daily situations encountered by direct care staff in OMH and OPWDD settings. No specific knowledge or training is needed to answer these questions.
  2. Observing and recording situations of daily living - These questions test for the ability to accurately observe and record situations of daily living. Candidates will be given a brief description of a situation of daily living, followed by a number of sentences. Candidates must indicate whether or not the sentences factually and accurately describe the situation presented.
  3. Understanding and applying written instructional material - These questions test for the ability to understand and apply written instructional material. Each question has two parts. The first part presents a short piece of instructional information. The second part describes a related situation. For each question, candidates must pick the one best answer, based on the instructional material and the situation presented.
  4. Arithmetic for daily living - These questions test for the ability to use basic arithmetic in daily living situations encountered by direct care staff in OMH and OPWDD settings. The situations involve the application of simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, as well as interpreting information from simple tables, to answer the problems presented.

If you pass, your seniority credit(s), if any, will be included in the computation of your final score. Rank on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime veterans' credits to your final passing score.

Credit for Seniority

Seniority is credited at the rate of one credit for each five-year period (or fraction thereof) excluding the first year of service.

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As a Direct Support Assistant Trainee, you would help individuals with developmental disabilities lead richer lives. Under supervision, you would assist individuals with personal hygiene care, toileting, lifts and transfers, dining, dressing, and meal preparation. You would help individuals to participate in games and recreational programs; coach and encourage individuals to develop daily living skills; and provide a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. You would work with other staff to carry out and record care plans and, in accordance with special instructions, you may administer medication. These positions are physically demanding. You would need to be prepared to act to ensure the health and safety of individuals in emergency situations. You must be able to do such things as stand, bend, stretch, and lift bedridden and/or incapacitated individuals.

How and Where to Apply

If you wish to apply for this examination, complete the Transition Examination application form NYS-APP#4, 10-018 & 10-019(pdf). Return your completed application to your Personnel Office.

Within OPWDD, facilities have varying ongoing needs for persons qualified for appointment to these positions. Facilities will accept applications at any time and will schedule the written test whenever additional eligibles are needed. It is anticipated that the examinations will be held on a periodic basis throughout the year. For the testing schedule and other information about this examination, contact the personnel office of the facility where you wish to be tested.

Retest Policy

Qualified candidates may file as frequently as once a year, but a new application is required each time.

Additional Information

New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity employment, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or military service member status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or arrest and/or criminal conviction record unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.

Reasonable Accommodations in Testing

It is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to provide equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their application. Further information is available from the Test Administration Unit of the Department of Civil Service. In the Albany area, call 518-457-2487 [press 2, then press 2]. Outside of the Albany area, call toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 2]. For TDD services, call NY Relay at 711 (requires a fee) or 1-800-662-1220.

New York State Residence Is Not Required For Most Positions

However, you must be eligible for employment in the United States.

Eligibility for Examination

To be eligible to compete in this examination, you must be employed in the specified department or agency on a permanent or contingent permanent basis in the competitive class, or in the non-competitive class or labor class if specifically noted on this announcement (or be on an appropriate preferred list), and have the specified time in the specified title or salary grade. You may not compete in a test for a title if you are permanently employed in that title (unless you are still on probation) or in a higher direct line of promotion.

Cell Phones or Electronic/Communication Devices at the Test Site

Do not bring cell phones, beepers, headphones, or any electronic or other communication devices to the test site. The use of such devices at the test site in the test room, hallways, restrooms, building, grounds, or other areas could result in your disqualification.

Continuous Recruitment/Eligible Lists

Candidates who meet the qualification and pass this examination will have their names placed on the eligible list in the order of final scores, regardless of the date on which they filed or took the test. Generally, the names of qualified candidates will remain on the eligible list for two years. Appeal of ratings will not be allowed as the opportunity for retest exists. The department of Civil Service reserves the right to terminate this special recruitment program.

S1/TB1 LAC-sac
Reissued: 11/11

This announcement is subject to amendment or cancellation without notice. Do not copy it, or post it to any other site, but link to it instead.